7 TIPS FOR MOMS TO STUDY WHILE RAISING KIDS

Considering going back to uni, but worried about studying with kids?

Hi, I’m Sana, a full-time student and a mum of two. I started studying in 2012 and graduated 3 years ago. With the support of my husband and his family, I’m currently studying a postgraduate course. Here’s my journey as a student.

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Let’s set the scene. You’re a stay at home full-time mum, and you love what you do. You’re fulfilling all your responsibilities towards raising your kids. Whether you’re thinking of enrolling in a course or you’re a returning student after pregnancy and birth, it’s like a fantasy to start your education, isn’t it?

As a mom, you have a few options, such as if you ask your husband to help with house chores, or you can choose to study part-time. But again, studies can be occasionally overwhelming.

I certainly understand what you’re more worried about: Studying with kids! ‘How can I concentrate on studying while the toddlers are around? Will I fail to balance between my responsibilities towards my children and study? How will I cope up with other chores and family commitments during assessments?’. These are the concerns you often have.

Hey Mom! Don’t worry at all. In this blog post, I’m sharing how I’ve been able to balance between studies and kids from the last 8 years!

1. Schedule your study time

I used to leave study time until the end of the day, in the hope of kids falling asleep at night. But it was impossible to make it a reality because after a long tiring day of house chores and job, I had no more energy left to focus on the assignments.

Then, I hung a day planner on the fridge door. Since then, I’ve been able to manage my study time within house chores as I get reminded of my day plans every time I use the fridge (Must be at least 100 times a day!)

This simple planner sheet I found on Nurse Clara’s Blog has been beneficial. Just write your tasks for each day, and tick whatever is completed. Ticking all the boxes provides a sense of accomplishment in general. You can also schedule your study time around your kid’s napping time. Find more ideas HERE.

Taken from Nurse-clara.com

Get a daily planner from Amazon:

2. Study small portions

You’ve got a written organizer on the wall to remind you of everyday tasks, but remember, you need to plan it wisely. If you believe in studying all at once, consider changing this habit. Because it’s impossible to study for long hours when you’re a mum.

Formerly, I often set a specific day to study all four subjects. It was stressful, as I was continually running out of time to prepare for the assessments. Later, another mum in my college (now my best friend!) advised me to divide my week into shorter chunks of study rather than piling all tasks for one day.

Graduation ceremony 2017

I then achieved my study targets, and I felt prepared for the assessments way before they’re due, without rushing for time.

3. Avoid longer travel time from home

As a mum, you have limited time to study. When you study on campus, you’re leaving behind plenty of tasks at home, including your toddler’s nappy change! If you’re considering enrolling in a new program at a university, your best bet is to search in your local area.

If you can’t find a preferred program around your residence, try to get as closest as possible to your area.

Shorter distance to commute between home and college saved heaps of my time. Such as it used to take 50 minutes from my former suburb to the city on a public train. It was such a waste of time! But instead of changing the college, we moved suburbs. The present house just takes 20 minutes total travel time. It was an utter relief, as I had the opportunity to spend more productive time with my family.

4. Be attentive during the lecture

I absolutely understand that the thoughts of your kids and home often don’t leave you alone when you’re away from them. Though you shouldn’t, you still feel guilty.

Trust me in my experience, if you focus on the lecture and actively participate in the class activities you’ve already prepared half-way for your next test. I adapted this strategy since I began studying.

You can prepare notes if you have gaps between the classes, search resources in the library, and brainstorm for the upcoming assignment. If you add up all, you’ll actually save multiple hours on studying at home, which in turn allows you to rest and brings the opportunity to spend quality time with kids.

5. Schedule shorter classes

On-campus study has its own drawbacks, including when you leave your kids behind at home. But you can still find the right balance between your tasks if you choose shorter classes. You can do this by dividing various lectures on different days.

Let me explain this further: A few semesters back, I selected two, 4 hour-classes for 2 days in a row, considering that I’d save money on public transportation. But quite frankly, I made a significant mistake, as I was away from kids for 8 hours straight! In the later trimester, I selected 4 lectures on separate days. With all honesty, I was better able to stabilize time around my responsibilities, as I was spending longer hours at home each day.

6. Keep the study pressure low

You were a high achiever of your school, you’re a strong competitor, and you study hard. But when you’re a mommy of young ones, the circumstances are entirely different.

As a mother raising a toddler and a 7-year-old, I find it especially tough to compete for high grades. A few years back, I continued to feel pressured to excel for a couple of trimesters, excessively craved for high grades, and urged to beat the competition in the classroom.

But one day, my husband felt that I was off balance between personal commitments and my study time. He saw me getting anxious, frustrated, and disrupted by kids. Of course, it was unhealthy to remain like this in the long run.

I followed my husband’s advice to stop fretting about grades and instead to just focus on what I’m achieving in the long run while balancing the study and personal life. His advice works really well, and since then, I’m learning to gain knowledge and understanding of the subject. I often feel eased, and I plan my study structure meaningfully.

7. Don’t wait until the deadline

Quite often, your lecturers and tutors have asked you to complete your assignments way before the deadline to ensure you don’t miss the due date. But right now, I’m advising you this as a mother and a homemaker.

Of course, you have to fulfill responsibilities round the clock, so you’ll leave the assessments for the last minute. Quite confidently, you’ll feel rushed, panicked, and upset as the due date will get closer.

Last year in April, I was busy socializing too much that I was leaving my assignments till the due date. It was pretty hard to catch up on all the unfinished work, along with caring for kids.

All in all, I don’t want you to get in the same sort of situation as mine. Plan ahead for your assignment and complete bits over the week. Specify a day for research & sourcing, and write at least a paragraph or two each day.

Final thoughts

Balancing your personal and study life is tough. You need planning, hard work, and the support from the loved ones to achieve your goal. As long as you’re willing to take risks and grab opportunities for learning that arises by the time, be confident you’ll gain what you dreamt of.

We hope these 7 tips will be helpful to you in this journey, and it creates value for your time.

In the end, I’d like to share a quote for all parents out there:

“Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than a science.”

Bruno Bettelheim

Thank you for reading. We’d love to learn your thoughts on this post in the comments box below.

WALK OF LIFE # 2: A SURPRISE LAUNCH, SON’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Last week was full of initiatives for us. Yes, you read it correctly, an initiative with ‘s’. Though we’d like to keep our other plans secret, for now, we promise they won’t remain suspense for much longer. We have heaps to share with you in our upcoming posts that we can’t wait to reveal!

As you’re aware that we started blogging a month ago, and undoubtedly we’re learning and flooding with new information every day! Read our experience blogging to find out more.

We’ve been keeping ourselves occupied while lockdown at least to prevent ourselves from oversleeping, fatigue, and anxiety. But above all, we’re shaping our long-pending projects. One of those was to publish our son’s playful activities on YouTube.

BACKGROUND

A couple of years back, our son, Ayaan, asked us: “Mom, Dad! It’s great to see Ryan every day, and I enjoy watching him so much! Please make my video today”. Ryan, a YouTube star kid who plays along with his family, play with the toys, and publishes a video each day on his channel ‘Ryan’s World’. He inspired Ayaan. That’s when we realized his feelings, and soon after that, we started filming his videos.

THE TWIST

Though, it took a while to start the channel officially. Because he was anxious at the beginning, we felt that he was fearful because he was shy. He was afraid of being watched by many, other than just the immediate family. As parents, we could ultimately make sense of it, although he needed to confront his nervousness. Because he could be successful in life only if he masters to challenge his fear.

OVERCOMING FEAR

Soon we learned that despite getting nervous, Ayaan didn’t ask to turn off the camera (thank God!). Oh, boy! He enjoyed the filming experience! And what’s even more exciting? He felt confident and even more motivated for his next video shoot. Now, we publish his video every Monday on his channel ‘Ayaan’s Fun World.’ on YouTube. Watch his latest videos:

OUR THOUGHTS

To make a long story short, we’re sharing our thoughts with you in this post because we’ve successfully overcome his fear of facing a camera. We’re hopeful, we’re happy, and we’re thrilled with experimenting. We’ve been able to manage our kids’ fears in various other ways that we’ll share with you sometime.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Let us know in the comments box, how do you manage your child’s fear of anything?

5 TIPS ON HOW TO TEACH SELF-DISCIPLINE TO YOUR CHILD

Did you notice a gradual shift in the behaviour of your child lately? Ever wondered the reason you’re being spoken about your kid’s behaviour in every parent-teacher meeting?

Do you know the difference between controlling your child and teaching them to learn self-discipline?

Educating our kids about self-discipline was discussed pretty often between both of us. It has been a focal point since the birth of our elder son, almost 7 years ago.

As working parents, both of us wanted our kids to learn self-discipline and anger management skills at an early age so that we don’t face much trouble later in life.

With our little knowledge and some exploration, our elder son learned to make healthy choices, self-discipline, patience, pressure management, self-care and manners.

Saif and Ayaan, our two adorable sons

In this blog post, we’re sharing 5 clever tips by which our elder son has become the star of his school and our family.

1. Establish a daily routine

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

You’re a busy parent and certainly trying to balance between work & home, your health and between your kids. So, how would you make an effective home routine for your kids to follow each day?

Planning and organising your child’s daily routine isn’t a fairy tale, though it requires three main elements: planning, effort and consistency.

Though we often didn’t reiterate the household rules since we had already set up a day and evening routine for our kids. Sticking a day to night schedule on the ‘fridge door’ has been incredibly effective in sticking us and our kids with the planned routine.

Ayaan having entertainment

This exercise created a feeling of target-achievement, pressure-handling and responsibility in our elder son. Additionally, we noticed that he became happier, more creative and more talkative.

2. Limit screen time

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It’s not a rocket science to understand the fact that today’s generation is a digital zombie.

It’s healthy in a way if they’re learning about digital devices as a subject or they’re studying online (essential). Though we believe that going beyond those limitations could potentially turn around their behaviour, making it even harder to teach self-discipline.

We learned a few years ago that both our children show tantrums and disobeying tactics to get the devices back in their hands.

Saif doing playful activity

Since we’ve been setting and reiterating the limits on screen time almost every day, our children involve themselves in productive, creative and learning activities. Though it’s a gradual process and we do get hiccups, yet we’re consistently training.

3. Communicate the reason behind rules

We often seen parents setting the rules at home without adhering the cause of its establishment with their kids. We ask them a simple question of whether an adult would follow the rules regardless of the background?

We’ve been trained the same way, consequently, went through huge problems soon after our elder son turned into a toddler, as he won’t follow what both of us instructed him.

Not long after, we started stating the cause of the ruling, such as stating ‘You should complete your homework today because it’s due tomorrow and your teacher will be upset if you don’t complete one’ rather than saying ‘Do your homework because I’m telling you’.

It appeared much easier to understand the cause of our instruction for him.

4. Compliment and reward good behaviour

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Since your child is following a guideline set by you and understands the reason behind a limitation, you should move a step further and encourage them to repeat the same behaviour.

We believe that offering reward varies within age groups. For example, our toddler (younger son) sees the bottle of milk and a pack of chocolate as a reward while the junior gets encouraged if we offer him a 30 min session on his Xbox or take him to the Mcdonald’s.

Saif enjoys outside home

Praising and rewarding our children makes them feel good about themselves and motivate them to repeat their action.

5. Communicate effectively

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, your time and attention matters to them as it raises their confidence, self-esteem and communication skills.

Due to our overly burdened and occupied life, we never had a chance to peacefully sit with our elder son to speak about his day, school and his friends.

We’d think that he’s a shy individual though he was a chatterbox! And interestingly, we learned this trait a few days after his 3rd birthday since we took one week off from work and stayed at home.

Our son felt respected, proud and developed more self-disciplinary behaviour. He showed greater patience level and developed excellent hearing skills.

Conclusion: Be Patient

Building and teaching self-discipline skills will take plenty of effort, commitment, consistency, attention and above all, patience. Ticking all the boxes to make them a responsible adult is not a piece of cake though consistency is the only key. In this blog post, we’ve revealed the ways that brought positivity in our son’s life and shaped him as a responsible person.

We hope it helped you in some way.

Can you tell us of a helpful tip to build a healthy parent-child bond? Let us know in the comments below.